As an Attending Physician who has transitioned into practice, you may be stressed, wondering if you are on track to meet your financial goals. You are asking yourself, colleagues, or family how to organize your finances and what you should do with your money.
On the evening of April 3rd, 2019, Spaugh Dameron Tenny will be hosting a panel of distinguished leaders who will address the convergence of financial wellness and leadership in the medical industry. The panelists will touch on the six money decisions for physicians & how they affect taxes, surgery center buy-ins, college planning, moonlighting, and stress.
The Financial Vital Signs Panelists:
- Sanjiv S. Lakhia, DO of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. Dr. Lakhia is passionate about the financial, mental, and physical well being of fellow physicians.
- John Dameron, Partner of Spaugh Dameron Tenny, LLC. John has two decades of experience helping physicians with their personal finances.
- Tom Loeblein, President/CEO of Healthcare Management Consultants. Tom has over 26 years of experience in healthcare consulting for physicians and dentists.
In preparation for the Financial Vital Signs for Surgeons event, I’m interviewing each of the panelists to gather their thoughts on the importance of financial wellness for physician leaders. This week I’m chatting with John Dameron, Partner here at Spaugh Dameron Tenny.
About the Panelist: John Dameron
John Dameron entered the financial services industry in 1997 and quickly found his niche in helping physicians with their personal finances. As he continued to gain experience in the medical community, John co-founded Spaugh Dameron Tenny in 2002.
Through a long-standing relationship with Carolinas Medical Center, John began developing a series of lectures on financial management focusing on the needs of physicians and medical residents. The classes were well received and over the last fifteen years John has lectured nationwide at several teaching hospitals, private practices, and medical associations. To supplement his lecture series, John published a book in 2015, titled Residents and Fellows Financial Survival Guide. You can find his writing featured on KevinMD.com and the Spaugh Dameron Tenny blog.
(1) Financial stress is the second leading cause of physician depression/burnout. Why do you think
financial issues cause physicians so much stress and how can this be addressed?
Finances are secondary to physicians learning curriculum while they’re in training. They have so much to learn in their specific field in order to become an MD that finances aren’t a priority. Even though they are faced with many financial decisions early on, it’s difficult for them to stop and gather enough information in order to determine what to do when faced with a financial decisions. One solution would be to introduce financial planning concepts early on in their training and have resources in order to help with money decisions.
(2) Is moonlighting a viable way to earn additional money, and if so how can surgeons capitalize on these growing opportunities?
Yes, several of our clients have created additional income through other opportunities such as medical file reviews for insurance companies and law firms, inventing medical devices, speaking engagements on behalf of medical companies, helping medical device companies with research and development. These opportunities can be lucrative and the physician can determine how much or how little of their time they want to devote to these opportunities.
(3) As income grows tax become more complex, how can surgeons keep up with this growing complexity.
Hire a CPA, meet with your CPA at least twice a year, once in October for a year-end review, then again in March to complete taxes. Communication is the key, keeping your CPA informed if any income changes throughout the year and making sure she/he is aware of all your income sources.
(4) What are common pitfalls of buying into a surgery center and how can surgeons avoid these mistakes.
The biggest pitfall I see is assuming that the income from the surgery center will cover your buy-in loan. Profitability of a surgery center is complex and the forecast you’re given isn’t always accurate from an income standpoint. A good way to help avoid this mistake is to make sure you have enough surplus in your budget that you can cover most of the buy-in loan (maybe all if it’s a new surgery center and isn’t yet profitable) and not rely on the surgery center income.
(5) Private school, college, medical school how can surgeons plan for their children’s education and help their children avoid heavy debt loads when they begin their careers?
Start teaching kids about finances in middle school, most middle schools start some type of financial curriculum in seventh or eighth grade, this is a good time to introduce kids to the concept of saving versus spending.
As an example if your child receives an allowance discuss with them about how much they want to save (this could be for a future purchase or just to get in the habit of putting money aside for the future) and how much will they spend and ask specifically what they think they would buy? You can also do this with money they receive as gifts.
Paying for college, start with how much of the education would you like to provide 100% or 50% – four years, graduate school? What type of college, in state out of state, private? Start saving early if your able.
Financial Vital Signs for Surgeons Event Details
- Date: April 3rd, 2019
- Time: 6:30 to 8:30pm
- Location: Capital Towers- SouthPark
- Address: 4250 Congress Street, Charlotte, NC 28209
To register for the event, click or tap the image below!
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